CITY fans have been told not to panic over keeper Jordan Pickford’s loan status.
The Sunderland youngster, installed as the number one for next season by Phil Parkinson, has been barred from playing in the Capital One and FA Cups by the Premier League club.
Under the terms of the deal, they could also take him back to the Stadium of Light any time after his first month at the club.
But director of operations David Baldwin does not fear that scenario and insists there is no need for supporters to fret.
He said: “In nearly every loan player agreement, the parent club can recall them. It’s very rare not to have that provision, especially if they are under the age of 21 and on a youth loan document.
“You are only protected from a recall for the first 28 days. After that any club can pull someone back at 24 hours’ notice.
“It’s nothing new. Scott Loach had a 24-hour recall when Stuart McCall brought him in, Adam Reach, Matty Dolan and Kyel Bennett were the same last season.
“From our point of view, there’s nothing to worry about in terms of that element. It’s more protection for Sunderland if we aren’t using him.
“The club want to see him get regular first-team experience. He is going to get that being selected by us.
“If he does well, it is a good learning curve for him. There’s no cause for concern.
“I imagine Sunderland don’t have him on their immediate radar but to put him on a four-year deal shows they see him very much as one for the future.”
Pickford’s capture ended a long period of deliberation for Parkinson before he finally opted to back the highly-rated 20-year-old over Jon McLaughlin. The length of time showed the City boss wanted to make sure he was totally confident in the player to deliver.
Pickford, who made his first appearance on Saturday against Blackburn, played 31 games on loan with Burton and Carlisle last season – his first in league football.
Baldwin added: “When a 24-hour recall is imposed, it’s normally because his parent club have a massive number of injuries.
“They might get injuries and need him in a cup so it’s fairly common practice to put that (clause) in.
“Cup runs are generally when you give the alternate keeper a run. Think of our cup run when (Matt) Duke was in goal but Jon played the league games.
“This is why you do your homework to see how many they have in that position already.
“The other scenario for a recall is having a player at a club who is not being utilised.
“We want a number one and he is someone who has come in with a big reputation. They want their prime young talent who has represented England under-19s to get that next level of experience.
“He is going to do that with us and they are generating a return of cost against him. He hasn’t come to us for free – some of his wages are being covered by us.
“So it’s in the interests of both clubs that he is playing.”